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pic1.0 :Beautiful mountains of manali

Trip to Manali (Dehradun to manali end of Feb)

             We all have a beautiful place in our mind.In our dreams we all try to reach these beautiful places, I have a wonderful place that made me happy a lot of times, years ago. But sometimes I think that I am the only person who likes this place and I’m asking myself if this place will be as beautiful as I thought when I will go back to visit it again. Perhaps I made it beautiful in my mind, but this place I’m trying to tell you was the place I was dreaming.

pic1.0 :Beautiful mountains of manali
Fig 1.0 :Beautiful mountains of manali

 

We were all very exited to visit manali. We were planning to visit manali in 16th of February, it is the period of which the winter is ending. Our crew was consisted of 7 members, it included 3 Sri lankans, 2 Egyptians, German and a New Zealander.

How we searched a transportation mode?

Dehradun to manali there are approximately 450Km and a journey of 13 Hrs. We visited many local cab services for transpotation. Some cab drivers didn’t had an proper idea of the roard and they demanded big prices as 35,000 Rs for the whole journey saying that it would take more than a day for the journey, but as an average most of the cab services demanded a price around 22,000- 28,000 Rs.

 

Fig 2.0- dehradun to manali route (Source: Google maps)
Fig 2.0- dehradun to manali route
(Source: Google maps)

 

In the beginning our idea was booking a cab for the whole journey but when we further observed we thought it would not be much comfortable to travel in a cab for 13Hrs. We then searched about busses, there was one volvo bus Dehradun to manali. It is much comfortable to travel in the bus than travelling in a cab because the volvo bus is more new & comfortable since it have legspace than cab and also the seats were much adjustable and big so that anyone could sleep much comfortably.

 

Fig 3.0- Interior Volvo
Fig 3.0- Interior Volvo
Fig 3.1- Interior Traveller

 

But someone can try the Traveller too it may cost more, also there are other transportation methods but these are the most common methods we can see in dehradun these days.After discussing with everyone we booked seats in a volvo bus. There is only one bus from dehradun to manali and it starts at 8.20 p.m from dehradun ISBT.

 

The journey starts

We all gathered around ISBT at 8.00 O clock after packing up everything needed for the journey.

We had to face for a small problem in the bus. We booked our seats via an online app called goibibo since we received a small discount from it. In the booking procedure we received an email and a SMS text to the phone, so we showed the booking information to the bus conductor but he was confused with the message and argued that we have not booked the bus, but after a long argument he confirmed the booking, we even showed our email and the payment details. In my opinion based on this incident its better to take a printout of the booking and the payment details since the sms confirmation will not be enough in some cases. But there are some times I had shown only the SMS confirmation to the conductor.

  • Note:There are few websites and app which help us booking the hotel and the transportation mode such as redbus and goibibo mobile applications and tripadviser and makemytrip.com websites.

 

We started our journey from Dehradun around 8.20 p.m, the bus was comfortable, we could adjust the seats to the sleeping position but we have to provide water and blankets ourselves. while we are travelling the bus stops at few places for rest so we could use the wash rooms in these restaurants, we could find some good restaurants but some of the restaurants were not good so if you are having doubts on having food from outside its better to bring some food from home for dinner.

It become cold when we started climbing the hills and it was early in the morning, the view outside the window was amazing with all the mountains and forests beside the road.

“Life is more beautiful at the crack of the dawn….      Feel it! Live it! Enjoy it!”

When we climb further the road meets the river in a parallel way. It refreshes your mind when you see the water is flowing nearby river early in the morning. Sooner when reaching towards Manali we could see the lovely mountains covered with white looking down at us.

We reached Manali around 10.30 a.m, at the time we were a little tired, we needed to get refreshed ourselves so we started walking towards our hotel. The cab drivers were a bit cunning and they tried to tell us the road is far and we have to take a cab but we start walking following the google map. In the beginning there was a small issue that we had less GPS signal and we had to find our way back after going on a few different paths, but finally we found the correct way towards the hotel. The hotel was so close and it was 10 mins walking distance from ISBT. We had booked the hotel for night only but they allowed us early checking, So we went to our rooms and rested ourselves a bit.

The rooms were quite clean and neat also the price was not too much. The exact price of a deluxe double bed room was mentioned as 900Rs but when we booked through Redbus we received an offer an we booked it at 330 Rs which was very much worthy since it was 670 Rs off. Every basic thing you need for the stay was available in the hotel.

Note : Hotel hilltop https://www.cleartrip.com/hotels/info/hotel-hilltop-719806

Having rest for around 1 hour we decided to visit Solang Valley. We searched for a cab to go to Solang valley for 7 people after visiting few travel dealers we found a cab for 1600 Rs from the streets. It was a mahindra scorpio, 7 people could travel inside in it. We took everything and prepared for the heavy cold because in the evening sometimes it can get too cold. The cab driver came on time and around 2.00 p.m we started our way towards Solang Valey.

Fig 4.2 On the way to Solang Valley
Fig 4.2 On the way to Solang Valley
Fig 4.1 On the way to Solang Valley
Fig 4.1 On the way to Solang Valley

Through the beautiful mountains we climbed up and the cab driver stopped in one place and he told if we need to go skiing we can buy the things from this place. He agreed to provide us everything for skiing,ski kit, boots and an instructor, for everything he charged Rs.600 each, since there were 7 members he gave us a Rs.200 discount, but the quality of the kits were not much up to standards because the Ski kit was not clean. It was around 30 mins journey to Solang valley from manali.

 

Solang valey was a paradise with all the snow activities, lots of people come here to enjoy, lots of foreigners as well as local people.

skiing-in-solang-valley-head-436
Fig 5.0 Snow Activities of Solang Valley

 

 

Solang Valley
fig 5.1 snow activities
fig 5.2 snow activities
fig 5.2 snow activities

For most of us skiing was a first time experience but we all did the steps which were given by the instructor and it all become so much interesting and fun. Not only skiing we tried bull riding and the price for a single ride was 100Rs, it was enjoyable in the beginning but when we go further the but got very tired and we felt a bit sad of the animal and we got down. When it become tired of activities we didn’t forget to try a cup of coffee and a cup of noodles from a nearby shop.

 

Solang Valley is popular for paragliding as well, one of our team member paragliding and she said that the view was amazing when flying in the sky. She further said that it is totally safe because a well trained person was taking the parachute. The prices of paragliding was for a short fly was 900Rs and for a long fly it was 3000Rs. The fly doesn’t stay much time in the air since it is the winter season but it will stay more hour in the sky in winter seasons. The short fly will stay in the air approximately 40 mins, We were not interested in the event since the time frame was little but in the summer season it will be much time in the air.

 

solang valley paragliding
fig 5.3 paragliding
solang valley paragliding
fig 5.4 paragliding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening started when the sun come down little by little making the wind more colder. The activities started closing down when the evening falls. We started moving since its getting much colder, while we were walking by there was a person selling hot corn in the streets we didn’t hesitated of tasting since it was hot

corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was like sweet corn and they were very tasty with the salt and lime.

We then straight away headed towards the hotel since we were so much tired after the journey.

The rest of the places we have been and activities we have done will be coming with the upcoming posts.

About Kamal Negi

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